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Krugman Drinks The CoveredCA.com Kool-Aid. Next He Will Be Praising The Iran Appeasement

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Here is what the New York Times’ Paul Krugman writes this morning about CoveredCA.com:

Finally, the California authorities have been especially forthcoming with data tracking the progress of enrollment. And the numbers are increasingly encouraging.

For one thing, enrollment is surging. At this point, more than 10,000 applications are being completed per day, putting the state well on track to meet its overall targets for 2014 coverage. Just imagine, by the way, how different press coverage would be right now if Obama officials had produced a comparable success, and around 100,000 people a day were signing up nationwide.

Equally important is the information on who is enrolling. To work as planned, health reform has to produce a balanced risk pool — that is, it must sign up young, healthy Americans as well as their older, less healthy compatriots. And so far, so good: in October, 22.5 percent of California enrollees were between the ages of 18 and 34, slightly above that group’s share of the population.

What we have in California, then, is a proof of concept. Yes, Obamacare is workable — in fact, done right, it works just fine.

This is, to put it simply, nuts.  Krugman swallows whole the propaganda from CoveredCA.com, but didn’t bother to ask any hard questions about the risk pool that is in fact forming.

Here’s an excerpt from a real interview about CoveredCA.com with the organization’s Deputy Director Dana Howard from Friday:

HH: All right, now in terms of the goal, I’m sure you guys had goals set at the beginning of the cycle. How many did you expect to have enrolled by this point versus those you actually do have enrolled?

DH: No, we do not have that kind of a goal set as far as week to week, day to day, month to month. Through the open enrollment period, we’re looking at somewhere between 465,000 is the projected enrollment, and then for the end of 2014, we projected enrollment is between one million and 1.4 million.

HH: So I want to understand that, Dana. So by the end of open season, when does that end?

DH: Open enrollment for this initial open enrollment period ends March 31st of 2013.

HH: And so your goal is, of ’14, you meant, I’m sure.

DH: Excuse me. ’14. 2014, yeah.

HH: Your goal is to have 465,000 people enrolled by March 31st of 2014?

DH: That’s correct.

HH: And you’ve got 80,000 thus far?

DH: Yes.

HH: What was the mix of the 465,000 by demographic? What’s the estimate there that you need to make this pool work?

DH: No, we do not have a figure as far as what we have to have in each particular demographic.

HH: You don’t have an actuarial projection of viability?

DH: No, not in the sense that this is what we have to have in order to make ourselves be able to be sustainable. We do have overall numbers as far as the pool goes. But we are not looking at what we need, people, well, this many people in this particular age, or this particular ethnicity, or this particular language or income, that says that this is what we’re going to have to have to be able to make this a sustainable product.

HH: So on the overall pool numbers, what are those?

DH: Just what I was saying, 400,000-650,000 is the projected enrollment.

HH: But you don’t have that breakup broken down by anything other than projected enrollment?

DH: No, we do not, not that we look at and say okay, this is what we’re going to have to have as far as demographics go.

So the great praise that Krugman is heaping on CoveredCA.com ignores that it is mostly enrolling people in Medicaid and that CovredCA.com has no idea whether its plans are sustainable or even what the mix is for sustainability.

It is the perfect Krugman program –a fact-free, unaccountable, and wildly expensive launch into fantasy land.

 

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